tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC March 13, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PDT
daily white house briefing with press secretary sean spicer, and while there is a blizzard watch up and down the east coast, d.c. is battening down not just for the snowstorm but the political storm surrounding health care. the nation's official number crunchers in the congressional budget office are expected to tell us today or tomorrow how much the republican health care bill will cost, and how many people it will or will not help. president trump today blaming who else, but the media for the poor reception this bill has already received. >> the press makes it look wonderful so if we end it everyone will say remember how great obamacare used to be. it was so great. it's a little bit like president obama, when he left people liked him. when he was here, people didn't like him so much. that's the way life goes. that's human naturnature. >> when all else fails blame the
media. kasie hunt on capitol hill, pete williams in our bureau and peter al sander in the white house briefing room. is the white house concerned about how the cbo could score this bill? >> i think the best evidence of that is the fact they've been pushing back with the credibility of this estimate expected to me out as recally as today. it was tee years ago that the press secretary sean spicer said of the cbo it confirms that obamacare is bad for the economy. pushing back last week he said if you're looking at the cbo for accuracy you're look in the wrong place. republicans are concerned this could explode the deficit and cost a lot of americans their insurance. the bottom line evidenced by the president and in his comments visiting what the white house describes victims of obamacare focused on criticizing obamacare
as a disaster. they have yet to show why their replacement plan will be better than that. >> not just the experts who have concern, as we have been reporting but as peter alexander mentioned it's folks on capitol hill concerned as well, folks in the republican party. listen how paul ryan is responding and tom cotton replying. >> i can't answer that question it's up to people. >> i would say to my friends in the house of representatives with whom i serve, do not walk the plank and vote for a bill that cannot pass the senate and then have to face the consequences of that vote. >> sounds like paul ryan will have a battle. >> the comments from cotton are causing consternation for house speaker paul ryan. they're relatively confident at the end of the day they can get enough of these conservatives to
come around, that they can get to the 216 votes they need in the how. those comments from senators are not helpful. senator tom cotton is a fascinating example. if hwere still in the house it's likely he wouldbe one of the conservatives. he was one of the most conservative serving there, now of course arkansas his home state is having an interesting experience with obamacare, and they are struggling to make sure they are still able to cover people who are on medicaid, their governor has a lot of concerns about it and so tom cotton finds himself in this unusual position. it highlights everything at play. one thing for the cbo score how do conservatives respond particularly where it regards medicaid, one of the criticisms you're not changing medicaid until 2020, far out into the
future but in the event they move that date closer you'd probably see numbers on coverage go up as in there will be more people who would not be covered. you heard speaker ryan saying it's up to people whether they'd ha ha have coverage. we can promise universal access but not universal coverage. there are unpredictal political ramifications if the cbo analysis comes out and not helpful to the house speaker. >> we're watching the white house press briefing room where sean spicer is set to take the podium at any minute. kasie let's talk about health care in the three-phase process that supporters are ing. does it have to get more conservative in the house only more moderate in the senate? >> reporter: it is basically an attempt to placate people, members who are saying i want my pet project "a" or want this
change "b" in this current law. basiccally the bill they'll vote on the house floor they have to stay within a certain set of constraints. if they expect to pass within 50 votes, budget reconciliation rules. every single provision has to have a material effect on spending or revenue coming into the government. so that limits what they're able to do. they can't write new pvisions or make new rules. the speaker or leadership are trying to essentially say we hear you and know you want to make the changes. we'll promise you that in phase three we're going to pass other bills that will include all of your suggestions, but we really just can't do it in phase one because if we do it in phase one we need 60 votes and the whole thing will fall apart. phase two in the middle is administrative actions from the hhs secretary, tom price. that's a little bit more predictable, but you've heard
critics loike com cotton phase three requires democratic votes. he's not wrong about that. the assumption built into that is that okay we'll put this all in a bill but again that bill will take 60 votes to pass the sthath. it will have to be bipartisan. so cotton's argument is why if we were going to do it that way, just put it all in phase one. make a bipartisan bill and pass that bill with 60 votes. that's the balancing act that the leadership is trying to walk as they get this passed. >> who knew health care was so complicated casie hunt. >> reporter: no idea. >> pete williams there's another controversy brewing over the weekend. donald trump and the justice department firing some u.s. attorneys, 46 u.s. attorneys. on the face of it, that is not necessarily unusual but pete if you could break it down for us why in this case it might be a little bit more unusual.
>> reporter: when parties change control of the white house they're out, they were all put in place by barack obama so it was expected donald trump would appoint his u.s. attorneys. half already left knowing that's what was going to happen. friday the other half were told to leave by the end of the day friday so that made it different in the sense that other admistrations ha done this, too but not quite so abruptly and secondly because of the involvement of preet bharaa met with president trump late november and said he was asked to stay on and he agreed to do so he didn't think the letter of resignation request applied to him and he got a call on saturday from the acting deputy attorney general who said oh no, it applies to you, too, after which preet bharara tweeted i've been fired. it's not what happened but how it happened. >> who is in line to replace
preet and why this has something to do with fox news. >> i don't think we know who they'll appoint. in november there was some speculation that mark mukasey, the son of former attorney general michael mukasey, might be on the short list for people to be u.s. attorney in manhattan. he's represented roger ailes. there was some feeling some people in the justice department that the president might have been influenced by a commentary by sean hannity of fox news on thursday who said the president should get rid of all the holdover political appointees, including all 93 u.s. attorneys. >> and peter alexander who is waiting patiently in the briefing room we can see you on our screen as we're watching. >> still here. >> we can see you twice now in a double shot on our screen. talk to us about how the german
chancellor angela merkel will be coming to the u.s. tomorrow and coming to the white house to visit. what is on the agenda for that? >> reporter: weather permitting she'll be here and the president's claims about wiretapping our first opportunity perhaps to ask him specifically what if any evidence he has or whether he will imcyst the department of justice turn over whatever information it has to the intelligence committees he has now asked to investigate this more broadly. there's heavy differences between the leaders. on the variety ever issues not the les of which the fugee crisis he's been proposing the idea of building a wall and extreme vetting with the travel ban, they expect to go in place on the 16th of this month, and germany had taken a lot of criticism from president trump when he was candidate trump
among others for its much more lax policy in the eyes of then candidate trump and allowing refugees into that country. >> peter alexander, this will be the first time reporters get to press donald trump on the wiretapping claims. you've seen it already in the past month or so is they have a foreign leader and donald trump stand next to each other in the white house, and they take questions from reporters, two usually from the american press corps and two from the foreign press corps. peter al sander in the white house briefing room, kasie hunt on capitol hill and pete williams in our washington bureau, thank you very much. jim renasey is a republican congressman from ohio sits on the ways and means and budget committees. congressman, thank you for joining me. talk to me about whether you are going to be voting yes when this bill comes to the budget committee regardless of the cbo score. >> i'm on the ways and means
committee as you heard and we started that process last week. this week it's coming to the budget. i'm looking for the cbo score. i said publicly i would not be voting without the cbo score. i want to get it before we have to vote on it in the budget. >> and what are the baselines for you in that cbo score? does it have to cover the same amount of people, more people, what if it adds to the deficit. what will cause to you potentially say no to this bill? >> the real issue i have, obamacare is not working and we're spending way too much money in washington. sitting on the budget committee i see the deficit growth starting to accelerate and i want to see an opportunity for the cost curve to start at least curve starting to turn down. doesn't have to come straight down. i tell everybody that i'm a big believer that we're not going to balance this budget in a year or ten years anymore but we got to start getting back to the american people and showing them they have to balance their
budgets at home, they have to budget their, balance their family budgets as a businessman for 30 years i had to balance my budgets. we have to make sure we at least get the curve going in that direction. >> do you trust the cbo score snt white house is in some ways trying to discredit it. >> i think the cbo score is a guide we need to look at it. there's some problems with it. it's a very difficult, i heard you earlier saying how complicated health care is. it is very complicated, so we have to look at least the score a baseline for me, that's a starting point. >> your governor republican john kasich was on "meet the press" over the weekend and talking a little bit about this bill and criticizing it to a degree. take a listen to what he said >> it's not like we love obamacare. don't throw the baby out with the bath water. don't kill medicaid expansion. if you're drug addicted, if you're mentally ill, you have to consistently see the doctor. the resources are not there.
if you're chronically ill you have to have consistent coverage. under this bill you don't have it. >> governor kasich is concerned about the poor. he's concerned about the middle class. he's concerned about the less fortunate. what to you say to that krill simple? >> so am i. that's important and i'm also concerned about a budget we can't afford that's spiraling out. what we really need to do, what this bill does, i we n to work out a way to give the dollars to the states, like ohio, have the restrictions pulled off and let them do what they can to take care of the poor and those in need. if you look at the numbers now we can't continue on this basis and that's one of the problems. the deficits and debt are going to spiral out of control. i'm just as worried about the poor, and those that are needed but i'm also worried about our children and grandchildren and this debt that we're going to pass on to them as well. in the business world we have to do it. families back here in ohio have to do it and the governor has to do it, all have to do it but
we're going to have to give them enough resources to let them be able to do what they can do with less restrictions to take care of these people. >> do you support the medicaid expansion? >> well, look, i believe that medicaid expansion w a problem for governors to take becausen the end, what we have done is we've said there's going to be unlimited dollars. if there were unlimited dollars absolutely but i know that there are not unlimited dollars and that's the concern i have. as i said all along we have to take care of the safety net and bring this plane down safely, and land it safely, because today obamacare is not working. it's, costs are accelerating and again, i look at the budget numbers, i don't know how we can continue to go down this path. >> let's talk a little bit about how the medicaid expansion worked in reality. we'll put the numbers. on your screen. 700,000 received insurance after the expansion. 43% of those were unemployed at the time, and 75% of them said that it made it easier for them
to look for work. their access to health care made it easier for them to look for work. so if they can go out and potentially find jobs more easily, and considering how many people that this did insure would you consider that expansion a success? >> well, again, success when there's two things we have to look at first. we have to look at the dollars that we're spending and we're spending so many dollars that the more money -- and the business world i used to tell my staff if i gave you hundreds of thousands of dollars of course you can get things done but in the end we have to make sure we live within the resources that we have. >> is this a business issue or a public health issue? >> i think it's both. i think the only way we can take care of the public is to make sure we have the dollars to take care of them. if we continue to spend and spend and spend and we don't have the llars, we're not going to have the dollars to take care of those in the future. >> what is the credit sciticism don't insure people and they go to emergency rooms to get their health care it ends up costing
more money in long-term care instead of getting preventative care to stop the illnesses before they get out of control. >> first off, 93% of the people are already covered from what i'm hearing whether it's in a current employment situation under medare, under medicaid, or under veterans. we're talking about a7% that we need to make sure that we're taking care of in the end. so that's what i'm looking at. i'm looking at making sure the numbers all work and it's easy to argue and say well, look, this is what's going to happen if do you this. i can tell you what's going to happen if we don't have any more money at the federal government at some point in time the federal government will say we don't have anything and we can't take care of anybody. so this is a balancing act. this is making sure we have the resources for the future. and we can take care of those who need it not only today but in the long-term. >> congressman thank you for joining me. we want to get an update on the blizzard watch that is
potentially going to cripple the northeast. meteorologist indra petersons is tracking the storm. indra, lie to me, tell me this will not end up hitting the east coast. >> unbelievable a huge system. one piece of the energy bringing showers in through chicago right now. we'll be talking about lake-effect snow, such a warm season. watch out for heavy snowfall throughout the evening hours. look how many people are affected, 121 million people affected by this storm and as you mentioned we're talking about blizzard conditions as well. blizzard warning is in effect as of this morning, long island, jersey, coastal sections of connecticut. notice how closely we're watching boston, just a watch because the low continues to move closer to the coastline that kef ndefinitely impacts th amount of snowfall. tonight already d.c. starting to get some of the flurries. we go throughout the overnight hours when the system strengthens and intensifies, it wraps up here so d.c., philadelphia, new york city looking for that heavy snowfall, even one to three inches per hour, not out of the question
here. we go throughout today the system is holding on strong, still looking for the snowfall as we go through the afternoon, then we hit the evening commute time, still looking for some showers into philadelphia as well as new york city but boston notice what happens here. right on that line between rain that wintry mix and snow, so that's what we're watchi. wehift this a few miles one way the other the low itself huge differences in the amount of snowfall you'll be getting, what we're keeping our eye on currently. it should clear out of here, some good news. when we look at totals right now, very mixed reviews still. because it's where that low develops and where that placement of the low is. the latest we've given you d.c. 4 to 8 inches. philadelphia still calling for 8 to 14 inches of snowfall here. remember this is march, incredible, new york city 10 to 16 inches of snowfall. boston 8 to 14 inches, tricky right on that line. strong winds we could some power outages, cape may 48 miles per
hour at commute time tomorrow morning. new york city 22 but that will strength on it blizzard like criteria, montauk 34. by the afternoon montauk looking at 57-mile-per-hour winds towards long island. >> what indra is saying if you have to be at work tomorrow -- shall. >> stay home. >> sleep at the office. >> i gave you the hall pass. >> i'll take your hall pass. i'd love that. indra petersons thank you so much. coming up, conservative congressman steve king is raising a lot of eyebrows today after doubling down on some racially loaded comments. >> this western civilization still is a superior civilization. you cannot rebuild your civilization with somebody else's babies. >> with somebody else's babies. angry reaction from democrats and republicans alike. we'll have the latest responses. and in an hour expecting sean spicer to take the podium for the daily white house press briefing. we'll bring that to you as soon as it happens.
as promised sean spicer in the white house press briefing room. >> on saturday the president had a working lunch with several members of his team including homeland security kelly, treasurer secretary mnuchin and commerce secretary ross, veteran secretary and members of his white house staff during which they discussed immigration reform and their efforts to repeal and replace obamacare. over the weekend the vice president went down to kentucky, he was joined by governor matt bevin for a listening session with over a dozen small business owners from kentucky to discuss the burdens owe bra ma cair inflicted on their businesses. the kentucky business owners shared in detail how obamacare is natively affecting their businesses a reiterated their support for repealing our current health care system and
replacing it with one that actually works. this morning after receiving his intelligence briefing the president led another listening session on health care with secretary of health and human services dr. tom price. the president and secretary price heard from nine concerned americans from across the country who have been failed by the broken promises of obamacare as well as two doctors who have seen their patients suffer from the laws misguided rules and requirements. this listening session was another important step in the process of crafting and implementing an effective patient-centered health care. americans have been watching their health care costs sky rocket while their choices of providers, insurance and insurers have dwindled for years. they received the cancellations in the mail, many as three times. they've seen urgent care and emergency rooms filled with people who can't afford their high deductibles and resorted to enduring the pain or sickness until they had no choice but to go to a hospital. they've had family members with chronic preexisting conditions whose cost of health care has
more than doubled and they've been forced to let go of valued employees or frankly unable to hire more due to staggering workers' compensation increases. the president pledged to repeal and replace this unraveling system. the american health care act is one part of fulfilling this pledge. it's far from the only one. he's using administrative action to provide essential regulatory relief to insurers, increasing coverage choices and providing lower premium options to individuals and families. he will continue to work with congress on the additional legislation that part of this three-pronged strategy to increase choice while decreasing prices including allowing health insurance to be sold across state lines, adding to the list of health care related costs patients can duct with their health savings accounts streamlining the process at the fda so lower price generic medicine gets to the market faster, inviting small business to band together to negotiate for lower health insurance for all their employees, and
reforming the medical malpractice lawsuit system so that doctors are not forced to perform unnecessary and costly procedure and tests out of feet of fewer litigation. our health care system is large, complex and critically important not only to the health of our citizens but the health of our economy. through common sense patient focused reforms the president will work with congress to create a new system that doesn't impose a one size fits all government knows best vision on the american people. we will empower the american people to make their own choices about health care, make them best work for themselves and their family to bring costs for everyone down. the. the had lunch with vice president pence and secretary of transportation chow and will welcome all of his confirmed cabinet members to the white house for the first cabinet meeting, an important opportunity for the president to share his vision with the country, with his cabinet members providing direction for them to bring back to their
agencies and departments to ensure that the entire administration is working towards the same goals. unfortunately this afternoon you'll see some empty chairs around the table representing the president's four nominees who have yet to be confirmed by the president, governor purdue, secretary of labor he did anything know alexa costa, director of national and robert leitheiser. the key agencies and departments will not be represented at the president's first cabinet meeting. the president is confident that these unquestionable abilities of the confirmed cabinet members that will be in attendance just as confident in the demonstrated quality of the four individuals who will not be able to attend. their absence will be felt as this administration comes together for the first time to receive guidance from and provide counsel to the president on these unique areas of jurisdiction. following the cabinet meeting the president will sign an
executive order to reorganize the federal government. this order requires a thorough examination of every executive department and agency to identify where money is being wasted and how services will be improved and whether or not the programs are truly serving the american people. this is the beginning of a long overdue reorganization of the federal government and another significant step towards the president's often stated goal of making it more efficient, effective, and accountable to the american people. this evening the president will have dinner with secretary of state tillerson and national security adviser mcmaster. also he hopes to see sima virma confirmed as the administrator of senators for center of medicaid services another unquestionably qualified nominee shamelessly prevented from taking her position at a critical post. touch on the week ahead, tomorrow based on the current forecast we are in contact with
the chancellor's office of germany regarding the visit. we'll have an update later today. on wednesday the president will visit detroit for a trip focusing on job creation and automobile manufacturing. he will meet with auto executives and workers and manufacturing suppliers highlighting the need to eliminate burdensome regulations at needlessly hinder meaningful job growth. on wednesday the president will visit nashville, lay a wreath at president andrew jackson's tomb at the hermitage and the president will welcome for the traditional st. patrick's day visit. i can confirm that the deputy crowned prince of saudi arabia will have a meeting with the president on thursday of this week, excuse me, on thursday and i will have further details on that visit for you soon and on friday the president will travel to mar-a-lago for the weekend. finally the president is aware of the forecast for the storm that's currently threatening the northeast. the president has been briefed by his homeland security adviser
in the acting fema administrator on storm preparations. he has directed his inner government of staff to remain in contact with governors and mayors in the path of the storm and directing femaed administrar to lean forward and help states should they require federal assistance. we enurge everyone to listen to state and local leader answer public safety officials to follow their warning and closure notice. they are the best source of information during that storm. with that i'm glad to take your questions. john? >> if i could come back to the u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york preet bharar asked to resign along with 45 other u.s. attorneys. the president it seemed to indicate not too long ago that he wanted mr. bharara to stay on in that job, he was asked to, he was fired on saturday.
did the president decide to keep him on or a finite period of time? >> i'll refer you to the department of justice. this is a standard operating procedure to ask for the resignation and a good chunk of them had already submitted resignation letter. this is just the final swathe of individuals who had not at this time but this is common practice of most administrations. >> i understand that this happened at the doj and the request was from the doj but there seems to be a white house connection vis-a-vis the fact that the had the had asked him to stay on and the president apparently called him a couple of days before he was allegedly fired. can you tell us whether that was all, did the president change his mind? >> no, the. the was calling to thank him for his service. this is a standard as i said a standard action that takes place at most administrations, then attorney general reno sent out almost identical letter in 1993, the bush administration had a
similar one as well. this is a very common practice for all political appoint geez. not just in the department of justice but throughout government when there's a turnover in administration to ask for all individuals to do that. major? >> sean, yesterday john mccain said the president should provide information about the allegation about his phones being tapped at trump tower or retract the statement. today is the deadline. what will the president do? >> let's be clear the department of justice was asked to put, to send information down to congress. it wasn't the white house that was asked to do that. just so we're clear as far as what the request was. >> the tweet came from the president of the united states. is there an obligation as senator mccain said to clear this up. >> if you look at the president's tweet he said "wi "wiretapping" in quotes. there's been substantial discussion in several reports, brett baer from fox on march 3rd talked about evidence of wiretapping reports in the "new york times" and bbc and other
outlets other aspects of surveillance that have occurred. the president was very clear in his tweet that it was wiretapping, that that spans a whole host of surillance types of options. the house and the senate intelligence committees will now look into that and provide a report back. but i think there has been numerous reports from a variety of outlets over the last couple months that seem to indicate that there has been different types of surveillance that occurred during the 2016 election. >> and so what you're saying is the president doesn't have an obligation to provide any evidence -- it. >> i'm not saying that at all. i'm saying the request that was made from the house was to the department of justice. i think that's an appropriate question to ask them. what i'm telling you is from a white house perspective there's no question that there have been an abundance of reports regarding surveillance and other type of activities that occurred during the 2016 election. >> and that leads us to believe that the president's only
evidence is the, are these reports? >> no, that leads you to believe that. i'm saying to you is that what we made clear on that sunday was that the house and senate intelligence committees have the means, the process and th access to go in and look at the entirety of the evidence being presented to them and they can make a determination they can report back to us. >> sean, following up on maim major's question does the president feel there's an obligation once the investigation is over to release some sort of statement in response to whatever the findings are? that's my first question d i have a second one for you. >> well let's get there first. i think to start to presume what the outcome is going to be before the house and the senate look at all of the evidence and information and reports presented to him would be presumptuous so i think let's slow down a little and let them look at everything and then let them make some dempltermination. >> reporter: has president trump donated his paycheck from the month of february like he
promised to do during the campaign? >> the president's sb enintenti to donate his salary at the end of the year and kindly asked you all determine where that goes. the way we can avoid scrutiny is let the press corps determine where it should go. [ laughter ] in all seriousness he made a pledge to the american people he wants to donate it to charity and he'd love your help to determine where it should if. >> might i suggest the correspondents association personnel. >> that would be a great way to do it. >> general scholarship. >> thanks a lot, sean. i wanted to follow up with you on questions regarding michael flynn who is no longer in the administration. there's a five-year lobbying ban that's been imposed upon all trump administration employees. >> right. >> is that also apply to michael flynn? would he not be permitted to lobby for five years because of at xwree the agreement he signed when he became a national security adviser? >> that would be correctnd i have to figure out when he
signed or if he signed the form. yes all administration officials are required to sign that ethics pledge banning them from lobbying for five years and lifetime ban of lobbying on behalf of any foreign government. >> what are the repercussions if an employee of this administration lobbies within five years, where is the teeth? what's the penalty? what's the punishment that would be imposed on that particular trump administration employee? >> i'd have to get back to you john. i don't know whether that's the department of justice aspect or not. i will get back. >> did the president ask preet bharara to stay on during their conversation or not? >> i was not privy to that conversation. again i don't, i'm not really sure how it's relevant at the end of the day. the department of justice asked all remaining 46 that at this time they asked for all of them to submit their letters of resignation based on the same kind of precedent set during
both the clinton and the bush administrations in terms of the time line and the format. jessica? >> reporter: just wanted to ask about the reports about president xi jinping visiting mar-a-lago april 6 and 77. can you confirm that visit and what you want to accomplish with that less formal visit and secondly with respect to that visit, you still don't he a confirmed ambassador, don have an assistant secretary of state for east asia affairs. how does that affect your planning and ability to really properly brief the president and make sure he has a strong position? >> so planning is ongoing for a visit between president trump and president xi. we will have more details. it's the purpose of this meeting of that kind of a mting to defuse tensions over north korea and the recent deployment of the thaamilitaryattery to south korea. any meeting between the president of the united states and the people's republic of
china would cause a broad range of topics. secretary tillerson is traveling to the region now so i think as we go forward we'll have additional details on both the timing and the location of that when you go forward. >> reporter: is the implication of you talking about tillerson's visit he'll be laying the groundwork? >> he's in the region. i'm sure in his visit to japan, south korea and then china that preparation also come up as well as areas of mutual concern. yep? >> reporte go one at a time. >> reporter: there's been a rash of attacks on lgbt community centers over the nation. the community center here in d.c. was attacked and transgender staffer was assaulted, this follows similar attacks taken place in orlando, florida, new jersey and oklahoma. this is not unlike the anti-semitism that the president's already denounced.
will the president denounce these attacks? >> sure. one of the points that we've made in previous statements on this is that this is not the way that we as americans solve our differences. we don't attack each other. we don't engage in this kind of behavior. i think we have a first amendment that allows us to express ourselves, and that's the appropriate way but doing it when you're threatening violence or deruction or vandalism is inapproprie in all of its forms. >> reporter: is it all connected? >> is it what? >> reporter: is it all connected? >> i don't believe there's any connection between, that would be a stretch to say the least. yes, ma'am? >> reporter: thanks for taking my question. i wanted to ask about north korea. you mentioned north korea. can you tell us about the review of north korea now and what direction you think the administration is going in terms of the relationship trying to manage the threat from north korea. >> as i mentioned secretary tillerson is headed to the region. he'll meet with his counterparts in south korea, japan and
beijing. that will be a major subject and as i mentioned, when we ultimately meet with president xi and others, that will be a discussion something he's talked about prior to the resignation of the last south korean president, something part of an ongoing discussion. so there's an ultimate, an internal review that we continue to have, but then there's obviously a geopolitical conversation that we're having with partners in the region as we look to contain north korea's military threat. >> thank you, sean. can you confirm that any cooperation with russia with regard to syria is off the table, and if not, is it fair to say that the forthcoming anti-isis plan does include some sort of cooperation with russia? >> i'm not going to get into what the -- the plan is not done yet as i mentioned a couple days ago. secretary mattis was briefing the principles and that plan is continuing to evolve. i'm not going to rule out one country but the president has been clear in the past if a
country shares our commitment to defeating isis and we can work in an area of shared mutual concern then we will do so. >> second question. kremlin spokesperson said that russian president putin and president trump will meet at the g-20. can you confirm that? and would the white house rule out a possibility of a meeting before that? >> iwill follow up on that. i don't have a date. i know that the team is working very actively with respect to bilateral meetings at the g-20. i don't have anything for you on that. row we are ta? >> reporter: director mulvaney said yesterday he felt the obama administration had been manipulating the unemployment rate. i'm wondering if that's a view the president shares and what evidence is there of that? >> i think he was clearly referring to obamacare with the number of people but i would refer you back to him and his comments with respect to how he characterized that. i think he can discuss the precise nature of what he meant
on that. >> does the president people the obama administration had been manipulating the rate? >> reporter: i think you know the president's view he made it clear in the past his comments how those numbers were articulated in the past and i think there is aquestion between the notal number of people employed and the president's comments in the past reflected his big concern was getting to the bottom of how many people were working in this country, and that the denominator, meaning the percentage rate of the total number of people is not the most accurate reflection of how many people were employed in this country, how many jobs we're creating, how many people getting back to work, how many companies are committed to hiring more people is a much more accurate assessment where we're headed as a country, where our employment and economy is headed. to look at a number and say we have 4.7 or 4.8 or 5.9% unemployment is not an accurate reflection of how many people are working, seeking work or want to work and if you know how they conduct those surveys there's a lot of times people whether they're older or younger
or because of how long they've been searching for work are not considered statistically viable anymore and quashed away. how you look at the percentage of peopleorkingan sometimes be a manipulated number. the number ofeoe added torolls more cecelia? >> reporter: i want to clarify your answer to major's question. will the doj and/or the administration comply with the deadline to supply information? >> remember it's the -- again, it's not the request was made of the doj and so it's the proper ven ue to ask the department of justice. it's interesting in the past whenever we had conversations with another agency the accusation from the press corps is we're interfering in something. you can't say we're interfering with someone when we talk to him and don't talk to him, surely you must know. hold on, major, cecelia is
asking a question. >> reporter: this say follow-up on his point. >> i saw the tick tock. that doesn't mean you get to jump in. cecelia? >> reporter: to follow up on major's point this is a tweet from the president. doesn't the president have an obligation? >> does and i think we've made it very clear that we expect the house and senate intelligence committees to do their job. there's a preponderance of reports that continues to come out about surveillance and actions that occurred during the 2016 election. once they come up with their report and it was asked earlier today i think we can talk about the conclusions of that report. at this time you can't say we'll shift it off to the house and senate and comment every day. that was the entire goal of asking them to look into this further. >> will the doj comply with this? >> my understanding is thy will. again i would ask them what their intention is and i believe they're starting things that they can do and can't do in terms of classification. i leave it up to the department
of justice to answer for the department of justice. >> how is the press making obamacare look good? >> when you see some of the comparisons that occur in they talk about who will win and lose, it misses a lot of the competition that's going to take place. it doesn't talk about the increased choice. right nows the president has noted as secretary price noted, in a third of all couiein five states you have one choice. those auntnalysis how much you' pay and won't, a don't take in consideration the competition that will occur, the choice that will occur. right now you have one choice. you have no decision how much you'll pay and what you'll get. choice allows you to determine what scale of health care you need, what kind of package is good for you, your family or your business and when you look at a lot of these analysis, you open up various major papers, they look it look so simple. it's what are you going to get, how much will you get paid for, how much will you get paid for under the current plan. it misses an entirety of the whole process, which is that you
don't have competition. number one. number two and the bigger point that i think the president and a lot of others are getting to, the system is failing on its own. it makes it seem like it's all rainbows and puppies. at the end of the day, if you have a card and you're getting a subsidy but you're not getting care, you have nothing. so walking into a doctor's office where you can hand them a card and say i've got a $5,000 tax subsidy, if that doctor doesn't take the care or the deductible is high you don't have anything. to do an apple and apple comparison is hardly an accurate analysis of what the current situation is. zeke? >> i go back to what was mentioned earlier, the plan isn't done yet. the president during the campaign said multiple times been 30 days he wanted comments. is the president upset he hasn't received it yet and does that point to a difference between campaigning and governing that things take longer than you thought? >> i think there's a difference the plan has been received. the issue as you correctly point
out in your question is that now it becomes an aspect of the principles all discussing different priorities, different staffing levels, different funding levels but the plan is here, as we noted a few weeks ago. it's being reviewed and there's providing input from different memberof the principles and different members of the national security apparatus to make sure that the plan continues to evolve and is able to attack isis in a way that -- >> reporter: when is it actually going to take effect? >> some pieces of it are in the sense of he has talked to commanders on the ground. we've noted before some of the military action that's taken some of the authority that's been given to some of the commanders on the ground. that is actually taking the fight to isis on a daily basis. i think the more wholistic approach that he asked for will continue to evolve through the national security process, but make no mistake, we're on it right now. sharon? >> reporter: thanks, sean. on the executive order this afternoon, do you have a numeric
goal for either reducing the size of government or saving a certain amount of money through the review of agencies? >> i don't know that director mulvaney has a target per se. that's part of the issue. you go through each one and evaluate them on the merit of what they do or don't do or whether or not they become bloated or duplicative or frankly just outdated, or in need of technological advances, but there is a lot of, there's no set number that we're driving down to as we review government. sometimes you just walk into an agency and you realize that agency's mission is no longer relevant, or that it's duplicative in three other agencies. or that there are too many people performing a function that no longer exists for a variety of reasons, but that's why the mission is critical that director mulvaney was given the mandate to go out and get all of these different agencies and departments to review themselves and to provide feedback for him
as to where we could go. gabby? >> thanks, sean. you said previously the republican health care plan wouldn't be a one size fits all approach, but the current plan presves obamacare's health benefits requirements, which literally defines insurance at the federal level, so how do you reconcile those two things? >> what's missing right now is choice. that's the number one issue. we tried to solve a problem, when i say we, the government, with respect to obamacare, back in 2008-2009, and the issue was is that in order to solve a problem for several million people being without health care insurance, we up-ended the system for everybody. so if if you have employer-based health care, tricare, medicare, medicaid and it was trexactly t opposite approach. we went in solve a problem a small fraction of americans had, and we up-ended the entire system forcing premiums to go up and choice to go down for everybody. and i think that when you can institute choice and competition back in the system, that's
something that will benefit everybody and that's exactly the opposite of what's happening. >> phase two or three of this eliminate those requirements? >> reporter: i think phase two the administrative phase will look at a lot of the requirements and phase three, again they're not necessarily, they can run concurrently and the house is looking at starting a lot of that legislation, and so and dr. price is already starting to look through a lot of that administration, a lot of administrative aspect of it as well at hhs and figure out how do we start to achieve some of this untravel some of the pieces that are there. instilling choice and competition allowing people to buy their insurance over state lines allowing small businesses to pool the expansion of health saving accounts. all of the factors will drive down cost and having the insurance companies be able frankly to offer additional choices, and options for people is in itself going to be a huge bon bonus. charlie?
>> i at the loreporter: a lot o conservatives are suggesting the president doesn't back the paul ryan health care plan. has the president spoken with paul rye about the plan and have they had any conversations about its future in congress? >> they have spoken, yes. the, i don't know when the last time they have, but the president's fully committed to this plan. i think you saw secretary price and director mulvaney out discussing that this weekend. they're committed to the plan and look, director mulvaney made it very clear this weekend as well if, through the process, we can find some ideas that make this a stronger, more patient-centric piece of legislation, that will ultimately benefit americans we'll do it. that is not, we're not saying this is the only way forward. as it works its way through the house, and then ultimately through the senate, if there are ways that we can enhance the bill through the legislative process, we're willing to do that.
peter? [ inaudible ] >> would you like to know, thank you. the president spoke to the chancellor of germany. they agreed due to the current weather the meeting should be postponed. rescheduled to march 17th, this friday. same schedule of events on march 17th. >> reporter: i'll ask my question if i can very quickly, then. >> thank you for your assistance with -- >> reporter: that's news. you spoke on behalf of the president quoting him on the jobs report up. said they may have been phoney in the past but they are have real now. want to make sure you get right. >> reporter: should they trust the president? is it phoney or real when he says he was wiretapped? >> let's get back. recognizing -- he doesn't think president obama went up and tapped his phone personally. but i think there's no question that the obama administration, that there were actions about surveillance and other activities that occurred in the 2016 election.
that is a widely reported activity that occurred back then. the president used the word wiretap in quotes to mean broadly surveillance and other activities during that. that is, again, something -- it is interesting how many news outlets reported that this activity was taking place during the 2016 election cycle and now are wondering where the proof is. it's many of the same outlets in this room that talked about the activities going on back then. >> reporter: on the same topic, on the cbo report, did the president think it was real then and phoney now? >> what cbo report? >> reporter: on the expectation the cbo report is coming out about which you said f you're looking to the cbo for accuracy, you're looking at the wrong place. three years ago the cbo confirms obamacare is bad for the economy. the question -- >> it was bad for the economy. >> reporter: the bottom line -- >> no, no. but -- >> reporter: you said it's not the place to find accuracy. >> let's look at the cbo's projection. it said -- their projection on obamacare in 2016 would have 4
million people on it. the actual figure is 10.4 million people. half the number of people it predicted would be insured re on it. and it's declining. so, the ly point, peter s to make sure people understand, if you're looking to get a bull's-eye accurate prediction as to where it's going, the cbo was off by more than half last time. it's not -- this is not about what my understanding or my belief of the cbo is. the last time they did this they were wildly off and the number keeps declining. the question that needs to get asked right now, or, frankly, the awareness that needs to be brought up, if you're going to look at a number tonight, have you to look through the scope quloo that number -- it was bad for the economy. that's right. you can glean that in terms of the direction, the impact it had. as far as their numbers go, on the number of people they predicted back then would be covered now, they were off by more than half. >> i guess the question is, when can we trust the president when
he says -- >> hold on. you asked a question about cbo. now conflating it with a question -- >> reporter: we talked about wiretapping. the question in simple terms, when he says something, can we trust that it's real -- >> yes. >> reporter: -- or assume it's phoney? >> it's real. >> reporter: how can we say it's real when you say -- >> i did not tell you that. >> reporter: the president said, you didn't, the president said the numbers were phoney then but very real now. >> there's a big -- >> reporter: he will later say actually -- >> hold on. i think the difference is the president was talking then and now about job creation. the number of jobs, the issue that he brought up in the quote you're talking about was the percentage of people who are unemployed. and there is no question that no matt how youook at this, whether he's talking about4.7 or 4.8 or whatever the number is, that number is -- fluctuates by how people calculate who's in the workforce. peter, let me answer the question. >> reporter: i'm listening. >> you're not. the bottom line is the percentage of people who are unemployed varies widely by who
you're asking and the way you do the analysis of who's actually in the workforce. the number of people who are working and receiving a paycheck is a number we can look at. secondly, when you're asking about the validity of the cbo report. again, i refer to you the cbo itself. the number they issued that would be insured in 2016 was 26 million people. the actual number is 10 -- excuse me, 24 million. the actual number is 10.4. that's not a question of our credibility. it's a question of theirs. do you have any more? >> reporter: you have not answered this. >> i have answered. >> reporter: can you say affirmatively, whenever the president says, we can trust it to be real? >> if he's not joking, of course. but in that case -- hold on. you're asking -- >> reporter: let me start over. >> your point is -- every time that he speaks authoritatively, he speaks, he's speaking as president of the united states. >> reporter: more than 3 million americans voted illegally. >> he believes that. >> reporter: was he joking or --
>> he believes it. thank you. julie. >> so on health care, secretary price said on sunday that nobody will be worse off financially and more people will be covered than are currently with the plan that you guys are pushing. paul ryan acknowledged that people are going to lose coverage, so what is the goal here. you just said you're open to modifications to the plan. you find there's a better way to do it. is the goal people not lose coverage or is the goal -- >> but there's a false argument there, which is that they have coverage. people have cards. they've been told they have things but they keep walking in. the president meant with nine individuals this morning that you're fold they're going to get coverage from something. they're told they're going to have all these subsidies. they don't have the care they need. there's a difference between walking around with someone and saying, hey, i have a card than i have care. that's a big, big difference. right now when you have a third
of the counties in this country that have one choice and going down and number of insurers leaving markets, then it's -- the system is collapsing. so, the question has to be to everybody who's not with us on this is what can is your alternative. right now the current system of obamacare is failing every american who has obamacare. frankly, for those who don't have obamacare, for those who have employer-based insurance, for those who have tricare, medicare, it's driving up the costs. in the case of those with medicaid, medicare, tricare, they're going into doctors' offices who tell them more and more, we don't accept that. >> reporter: about quality and cost but i'm asking about coverage. >> that's the point. you're missing the point. if you keep talking about coverage, care is what matters. if you can't walk in and get seen, if you can't get a doctor to see you, then you don't have coverage. i mean, that's -- that's what this is all about. being told you have coverage but you can't go see a doctor or you can't afford to see a doctor is
not coverage. john. >> reporter: thank you, sean. i have two questions. first democratic leader pelosi said on friday that every single democrat would vote against the american health care plan, the plan backed by members -- republican members of congress and the administration. the freedom caucus in the house has come out for senator paul's plan. when one simply does the arithmetic of democratic members and freedom caucus members, that's the majority against the plan. how does the administration plan to overcome the arithmetic? >> we'll continue to work with members of the house and eventually the senate. feel very good as the president continues to engage with members that we will have the votes necessary. i think speaker ryan agrees with that as well. we'll have the votes, single pass and move on to the senate. >> reporter: the other question is this. in recent weeks there's been considerable attention on the upcoming elections in the
netherlands, on wednesday, and in france in a few weeks. candidates geert wilders of the netherlands was here for the cpac conference, representatives of le pen of france were here. many anal gis were made of these candidates and president trump. they offered words of praise for him, or did so through their representatives. is he aware of these candidates in europe who invoke his name and image? if so, what does he think of these would-be trumps and trumpettes? >> i don't know the answer to that. i think most of these are -- we'll allow sovereign nations to have their own elections without interference. alexis? >> reporter: can i follow up on peter and julie's questions. two issues, again. whether the president and director mulvaney put a lot of faith in the congressional budget office, members of the senate will, when they get -- if they get legislation from the house, so my question is, what
does the president and the administration intend to do to establish to satisfaction that the numbers coming out of the congressional budget office, which the president will question, are not substantial and can be countered by other information? in other words, is omb doing its own score? is the president relying on a think tank to counter the messaging? because senators are already indicating that they will put weight in the cbo score. >> again, i think this is part of an ongoing discussion with members as far as philosophical, what they belief, and a lot of these aspects is this plan and keeping with what they have supported in the past. obviously, they're going to look at the score, get it. that's part of it. and there are pieces of it that it may historically have more weight in than others. i think this is going to be -- as i mentioned to john, it's an ongoing conversation with members of the house and ultimately the senate with respect to whatever comes up. in the same way that members relied on the score last time,
they were way off. i think we have to remind them that, you know, if this is what you're basing your vote on, you know, you have to look at the historical context in which that information was provided. i think that's an important, you know, aspect to how they do it. i think there's going to be a ton of factors that people rely on as they do this. >> reporter: i have one follow- follow-up. i may be confused about the wiretapping, your answers in terms of the president's response. the president was the one who said this and said he he learned something. so, can you just establish for me, because i'm confused, the president did discuss what it is that he had in mind when he he tweeted, with the department of justice before the department -- >> no, i'm not going to get into what the president knew or didn't know prior to it. i think we've already commented on this multiple times. >> reporter: but how would the department of justice have any idea -- >> i don't know. this was a request made of the house intelligence committee not to us. i don't want to get into